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November 24, 2017, 06:58:43 am
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Author Topic: It's time Oklahoma gave up the death penalty  (Read 4415 times)
cannon_fodder
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« on: October 08, 2015, 01:12:03 pm »

I am not a religious person, my objection is not based on religion. I am not a bleeding heart that is just out to save lives. Nor do I think we are usually executed innocent people. I also acknowledge that society is better off without certain people in it and can agree that they deserve to die (including Clayton Lockett).

However:

- the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime,
- the death penalty is more expensive than life without parole (to preempt: No. We can't just get rid of appeals. Pesky Constitution guarantees rights),
- the death penalty will inevitably result in executing innocent people from time to time, and
- Oklahoma is not capable of competently executing its own citizens. In the last eighteen (18) months we have tried to execute three people. We have messed them all up. I'm tired of hearing about my state for negative thinks.

1) Lockett - botched the execution so bad he died of a heart attack after they aborted the execution. Tons of protocols were not followed leading up to, during, and while aborting the execution. Excuses were made and lawsuits followed. The cost of executing Lockett

Every major new source in the country, and most in the world carried the story. Forbes, The Atlantic, the Guardian in the UK ran expose follow ups on the botch. None were flattering. And to be clear, I don't care about Lockett's feelings - but by law We The People owe him a death free of cruel and unusual punishments, because we are better than he is.

We also owe his family a bunch of money. On top of the money spent on the investigation and press management. Which is on top of the legal fees and inmate costs we have already spent - about $5.5mil plus whatever the botched execution cost us. Call it $7mil to kill this guy, vs. about half of that to let him rot in jail.

2) Charles Warner - we successfully killed  him. But it turns out we used unauthorized drugs to do it. The Supreme Court was clear on what drugs we can use. There are arguments that the drug used is "essentially the same" as the one mandated by protocol and approved by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, drug retailers and jailers don't get to make that call - and apparently no one else bothered to check. This is not good, and I heard a national news story on it over lunch (it was discovered by reviewing autopsy results).

3) Glossip - still not dead. Initially delayed because of some issues with the police interrogation (Cop: "listen murderer, you keep saying no one else was involved. We arrest Glossip and think he hired you. If you tell us that, we will give you a deal." Murderer: "Glossip totally hired me." Cop: Thank you! We will execute him instead of you." Murderer: "cool!"), but not enough to exonerate Glossip. So they picked on the drug protocol, which the Supreme Court OK'd and the execution of Warner proceeded (with a different drug). At the zero hour, after Glossip's third final meal, Fallin issues a Stay and claims she had no idea...

Somehow, no one caught the mistake the first time. But they caught it this time and decided to bring attention to it. On the one with national media attention and a certain follow up coming on the execution, they catch it. The governor didn't know about it. The Attorney General didn't know about it. The execution team apparently didn't know about it. Of course more national news each mess up along the way.
- - - - -

What are we gaining? We gain vengeance, we feel good for killing the bad guy. That's it. I don't think its worth it.

If we, as a state, decide that it is worth it - lets bring back the firing squad. Seriously, its effective, its quick, and its hard to mess up. No doubt we can find plenty of CLEET certified executioners to participate. The only downside is it sounds barbaric and its messy... but we are executing someone. Why should it be neat and clean? All it has to be is quick and painless.

Or hook an IV up and pump them full of morphine until their heart stops.

If we are going to keep the death penalty, in spite of the cost/benefit, can we please find a way to do it right? But I say we just give up.


Death row stats for Oklahoma:
http://www.ok.gov/doc/Offenders/Death_Row/
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patric
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 02:20:48 pm »

I am not a religious person, my objection is not based on religion. I am not a bleeding heart that is just out to save lives. Nor do I think we are usually executed innocent people. I also acknowledge that society is better off without certain people in it and can agree that they deserve to die (including Clayton Lockett).

However:



If you can picture Glossip sitting naked on the concrete floor of his completely empty cell (except for the shorts the DOC allowed him to keep) while the prison officials (with the smell of the new paint on the extensively-remodeled death chamber wafting under their nostrils) open the box of drugs just an hour or two before they were supposed to be used, and discover just then its the wrong order, you can better understand some of the points CF is making.
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Conan71
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 02:45:57 pm »

This is a cause I’ve been championing for about five years now.  Prior to reading “An Innocent Man”, John Grisham’s first non-fiction novel, I was an ardent supporter of the death penalty.

Not only is there little doubt we have put innocent people to death, the death penalty is an absolute rip off to the tax payers.

There is plenty of evidence that the average Life Without Parole sentence costs taxpayers about $1.2 million.  The average death penalty case costs three times that. 

Take our current death row census of 49 inmates and multiply that by $2.4 million per inmate.  That’s $117,000,000 in needless costs to taxpayers which could be better spent elsewhere.

An LWOP sentence prevents the worst of society from harming anyone on the outside ever again.  Just like the death penalty but at 1/3 the cost.

How is justice not just as equally-served by LWOP?

But- if we absolutely had to have the death penalty, carbon monoxide seems to be a pretty humane and painless death.  Personally, I’d rather we do away with it.  It’s obvious it is no deterrent.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 02:55:14 pm »

I am a big fan of the death penalty - and in general, I couldn't give a rat's backside about the guy being executed having to sit in a cesspool for a week, let alone in clean shorts on a bare floor.  The fate and circumstances of death of the victims of anyone who earns that penalty trumps ANY consideration.  Beaten to death with a baseball bat.  There are numerous videos and baseball game highlights that show someone being hit - often fairly hard - ONE time with a bat.  Most times not even loss of consciousness ensues.  If hit repeatedly on the head, it might be fairly quick, but if there are body shots, then it will be very prolonged.  So to get hit enough times, hard enough to kill someone...well, that is particularly heinous!

They deserve anything and everything that could be done to them, even outside of the current interpretation of law.  But I agree with CF that Oklahoma should not be doing the executing since they bungle it way too often, and are probably executing way too many innocent people - not as bad as Baja Oklahoma (aka Texas) or Ohio - but too much!

Having said that, I have a huge issue with the Glossip episode that puts me solidly against death penalty in this circumstance.  There is NO remaining sanity or even a hint of justice in the system that would kill a guy for convincing/paying someone to commit the act of murder, but let the actual perpetrator have a dramatically reduced penalty - life without parole.  Just because he testified/implicated!!  That is a bizarre, psychotic, deranged view of justice that should have no place in any society.

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 02:59:32 pm »


If we, as a state, decide that it is worth it - lets bring back the firing squad. Seriously, its effective, its quick, and its hard to mess up. No doubt we can find plenty of CLEET certified executioners to participate. The only downside is it sounds barbaric and its messy... but we are executing someone. Why should it be neat and clean? All it has to be is quick and painless.



I don't think it's worth it.




If we are going to do this, we should just go ahead and do to the murderer what he did to the victims.  That might be an actual deterrent - if one knew you were gonna get what you gave....

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
Townsend
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 03:01:54 pm »

What is/are the best argument(s) for continuing executions in Oklahoma?
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 03:02:57 pm »

What is/are the best argument(s) for continuing executions in Oklahoma?


"That's the way we have always done it...."

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TeeDub
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2015, 03:16:27 pm »

What is/are the best argument(s) for continuing executions in Oklahoma?

I think, as a father, this speaks for itself.

Death row inmate Charles Frederick Warner was convicted Monday night of raping and murdering his live-in girlfriend's 11-month-old baby in 1997.
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Townsend
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2015, 03:22:51 pm »

I think, as a father, this speaks for itself.

Death row inmate Charles Frederick Warner was convicted Monday night of raping and murdering his live-in girlfriend's 11-month-old baby in 1997.

That's the thing.  It doesn't speak for itself.

Something like that deserves horrible punishment.

It doesn't give an argument to continue the death penalty in Oklahoma. 

"Oklahoma should continue capital punishment because..."
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TeeDub
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2015, 03:38:14 pm »

You are correct.   Unfortunately, unlike Mary Fallin, I don't want to reword the Constitution (specifically the 8th Amendment) for my own personal beliefs.    Instead, the best I can do is make sure that the criminal will never again see the light of day, and can for the rest of his short life only look forward to meeting his maker.

I can understand you don't have the stomach for it.   It's a good thing for Oklahoma that there are people in this state that do.







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Townsend
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 03:45:55 pm »


I can understand you don't have the stomach for it.   It's a good thing for Oklahoma that there are people in this state that do.


It's not that I don't have the stomach for it. 

Any time I hear someone had been put to death the night before I go about my business without much thought to it.

It's not something I spend much time on.   My alarm clock goes off, I get up, I go about my day, my day ends.  The person's death doesn't change that for me.

"Oklahoma should continue capital punishment because..."

Is it "it's what we've always done"?  Old testament?  Is there a large sum of money going to someone who continues to lobby for it?
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TeeDub
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 03:47:52 pm »


Is it "it's what we've always done"?  Old testament?  Is there a large sum of money going to someone who continues to lobby for it?

"Because it's not legal for me to nail his testicles to a stump and set him on fire."

Strangely, what I often think should be done, isn't.    I applaud people like Gary Plauche and Joe Horn.   They found shortcuts to the justice system.
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Townsend
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 03:49:57 pm »

"Because it's not legal for me to nail his testicles to a stump and set him on fire."

So you lobby to make that legal.  You'll have some hurdles.

It still doesn't explain why Oklahoma should continue capital punishment.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2015, 04:09:50 pm »

I think, as a father, this speaks for itself.

Death row inmate Charles Frederick Warner was convicted Monday night of raping and murdering his live-in girlfriend's 11-month-old baby in 1997.


Do to him what he did.  Using tools appropriately scaled in size.

Here is what the hospital observed on the baby;

Her skull, jaw and ribs were fractured. Her liver was lacerated, her spleen and lungs were bruised.


That is the list to follow/fulfill when executing him.  He got off way too easy.

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 05:01:22 pm »

My dad back in the 90s was the Chief Psychologist at McAlester and he had a second office right in the death row building. Part of his job was to sign off that the condemned was sane enough to execute.  Another was to make sure that the condemned's belongings were given after the execution to whoever they chose. Belongings were things like a toothbrush and shoes. Finally, his job was to try to find someone to accept the body, but rarely found anyone.

According to my dad most of the men on death row were at least mildly mentally impaired with IQs below 80 and acted like children. Most were black. All had been abused as children. Most had little education and were poor. In almost all cases it was not the heinousness of the crime that decided if a convicted man got a life sentence vs death, it was his color, social status and ability to defend himself mentally. He said that many were actual monsters and psychopaths that deserved death, but a lot of them also were just an easy target for cops to blame a crime on and probably not even capable of the crime they were convicted of. 
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